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Monday, February 4, 2013

DOCTORS TESTIFY AS SENATORS TACKLE BUDGET

The Senate Finance Committee continues to develop its draft 2014-15 state budget, with plenty of help from TMA member physicians. Travis Bias, DO, a family physician in Pflugerville, urged the committee to fund medical schools and graduate medical education and the Texas Physician Education Loan Repayment Program. Les Secrest, MD, chair of TMA’s Council on Legislation, testified for increased mental health funding. Hector Trevino, MD, president of the Maverick CMS, and Luis Calo, MD, president of the Cameron-Willacy CMS, urged committee members to reverse the 20-percent payment cut for physicians who care for dual-eligible patients. Jason Terk, MD, chair of TMA’s Council on Science and Public Health, testified in support of funds the Department of State Health Services needs for adult vaccinations, tobacco prevention and cessation, chronic disease prevention programs, and mental health. And Janet Realini, MD, chair of the Texas Women’s Healthcare Coalition, asked the committee for additional funding for state family planning services and the Texas Women’s Health Program.

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